Below you will find answers to frequently asked questions about the Summit Area Public Foundation:
What is a public foundation?
A public foundation is a grantmaking public charity that raises money from the public (individuals, corporations, and other foundations) to provide grants. They are also known as community foundations.
Is SAPF affiliated with the City of Summit?
No. There is no direct affiliation between the city and the foundation. The foundation has made grants to city agencies and departments, and the city has asked the foundation to manage some of its non-tax fundraising efforts, but the two entities are completely unrelated.
What does SAPF do?
These are SAPF’s key activities:
- Identify local needs.
- With its unrestricted funds, make grants to address those needs.
- Provide donors with flexible ways to establish special funds that address their chosen causes.
- Make grants and award scholarships that meet the requirements of donors who have established funds.
- Invest funds entrusted to it in a way that ensures long-term growth that will continue to provide funds for grants.
- Facilitate communication and cooperation among local non-profit agencies.
How much administrative overhead is there?
SAPF charges each fund 1% of its net assets annually, to cover investments management and overhead costs. SAPF has no paid staff. All administrative work and grantmaking is done by volunteer trustees.
How does SAPF differ from a private foundation?
As a public charity, SAPF may offer greater tax advantages than a private foundation. SAPF also provides an existing administrative and grant-making structure, as well as benefits in terms of distribution requirements and donor privacy.
Why should I use SAPF rather than a big investment fund?
SAPF has its finger on the pulse of the not-for-profit world in the Summit area and can make informed decisions based on its local knowledge.
SAPF works to identify current local needs, and can advise donors on key decisions.
SAPF’s trustees are area residents with the best interests of the community in mind.
As a donor, you can personally work with SAPF to recommend grants and to learn about local organizations you may want to support.
Who determines how my money is spent?
That depends on what form your donation takes.
Donations to the unrestricted fund become part of a pool of money that is disbursed through SAPF’s competitive grant process.
If you use a large gift to create a new fund, you can choose from among the various kinds of funds described on our donors page.
Depending on what kind of fund you create, grants will be made either by the people you designate or by the trustees of SAPF based on your criteria.
Donations into existing funds are spent in accordance with the rules for those funds.
How does SAPF manage its money?
SAPF invests the funds, in accordance with the foundation’s investment policy, through an experienced investment firm using this asset allocation model (figures represent policy midpoint):
- Equities 56%
- Fixed income 30%
- Cash/money markets 3%
- Alternatives 11%
A committee of SAPF trustees with financial experience oversees the firm and reports to the board.
Can I make a general donation?
SAPF maintains an unrestricted fund that is used to make grants in the areas of greatest current local need. Several donors have made large bequests to the unrestricted fund, and many local residents give generously to this fund each year.
To donate, click on our Donate Now button.
How can I create a new fund?
When creating a new fund, either with a current gift or through a bequest in your will or trust, we prefer to discuss details with you and your advisors in person.
Our contact page provides information so you can speak with one of our trustees about your needs and wishes.